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Liver-branding transplant surgeon struck off medical register

PUBLISHED

A surgeon who burned his initials on to the livers of two patients during transplant surgery has been struck off the medical register.

Simon Bramhall, 57, admitted using an argon beam – used to stop livers bleeding during operations and to highlight an area to be worked on – to sign “SB” into his patients’ organs in 2013 while working at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth hospital.

On Tuesday, a review by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) concluded Bramhall’s actions were “borne out of a degree of professional arrogance” and that they “undermined” public trust in the medical profession.

Bramhall, of Tarrington, Herefordshire, was first suspended from his post as a consultant surgeon in 2013 after another surgeon spotted the initials during follow-up surgery on one of his patients. A photograph of the 4cm-high branding was taken on a mobile phone.

During his sentencing hearing in 2018, Bramhall was told one of the victims suffered serious psychological harm as a result of the branding. The surgeon later told police he branded the organs to relieve operating theatre tensions following difficult and long transplant operations.

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Source: The Guardian, 11 January 2022

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